The international department at The Isle of Wight College are celebrating their achievement at the 2019 Isle of Wight Chamber Business Awards, where the team were ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘International Business of the Year’ category.
Over 400 guests attended this year’s Chamber Business Awards for Excellence, held in association with Wightlink, which took place at Cowes Yacht Haven on 18 October. Judges for the competition were recruited from around the world, including Dubai and Singapore.
I am delighted that our international activities have been recognised at this level, in particular the unique learning experiences these collaborations provide for students and staff at The Isle of Wight College, as well as their counterparts in 25 other countries from across the world.
The college’s international department is globally recognised as a major contributor to education and training policy and practice across the world, including China, South Africa, Ghana, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Japan, Italy, Finland, France, Spain and Greece. For example, the international team recently presented to the Chinese Ministry of Education in Beijing on how a technical college could improve their systems and curriculum; they also hosted a leadership exchange programme with three colleges in South Africa to improve their systems, teaching methods and links with employers.
In the last two years the college has welcomed over 300 students from countries such as Belarus, Finland, France, Italy, Thailand and Spain. Visiting students undertake various learning opportunities including full-time vocational programmes, cultural exchange trips, work experience placements and ESOL (English as a second or other language).
These collaborative projects not only enhance the skills and experiences of our own students and staff, they also enable students and teachers from other countries to gain vital knowledge and experience which they can take back to improve the lives and economies of their own countries.
With over £750,000 funding provided by the British Council and Erasmus+ the College is currently participating in five exciting international projects:
- The computing and health & social care departments are seeking to improve the lives of the elderly through the use of IT:
- “WeTomorrow” specifically targets seniors in the early stages of dementia whereby computing students are working with Age UK Isle of Wight to create VR (virtual reality) technology to stimulate memory using photographs.
- “Coopcom Seniors” is addressing loneliness in old age and methods to overcome this.
- “Awesome Cultural Heritage” is helping travel and tourism students to better understand other cultures; in January the college is hosting the first joint meeting which will focus on events and festivals.
- “Setting Sail” will provide work experience and skills development for students and staff across 10 college departments, who will visit Norway, Greece, Finland, Malta, Spain and Italy.
- “I-Work” is promoting positive systemic and institutional change on curriculum development, sharing of best practice and building sustainable partnerships between employers and training providers. Key partners in this project are Ghana, India, Malaysia and South Africa.
Within the last two years, students and staff at The Isle of Wight College have benefited from work placements and training programmes in many destinations, including China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, South Africa.
It is a very exciting time for us, our students and staff are enjoying the cultural learning opportunities these projects provide.
We are also pleased to promote the Isle of Wight as a global tourist destination and to support island businesses, tourist attractions and local transportation companies during our hosted events